News

Hidden ‘fake’ is a real Van Gogh

Hidden ‘fake’ is a real Van Gogh

A painting titled "Sunset at Montmajour" is seen in this handout photo received from The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam on September 9, 2013. REUTERS/Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) Sunset at Montmajour, 1988. Photo: Reuters/Private collection

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – A French landscape painting stored in an attic and kept from public view for a century because it was considered a fake is the work of Dutch master Vincent Van Gogh, a museum said on Monday citing new research.

“Sunset at Montmajour”, which shows twisted holly oaks and a distant ruin bathed in the light of the setting sun, was painted in 1888 when Van Gogh was living in Arles, in the south of France.

The work, owned by a private collector, will go on show at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam later this month for a year.

Museum director Axel Rueger described the discovery of a new work by Van Gogh as “a once in a lifetime experience” as the painting was unveiled at a press conference on Monday.

“What makes this even more exceptional is that this is a transition work in his oeuvre, and moreover, a large painting from a period that is considered by many to be the culmination of his artistic achievement, his period in Arles,” Rueger said.

As recently as 1991 the Van Gogh Museum had concluded that the painting was not by the Dutch artist when contacted by the owners of the work for an opinion.

But thanks to new research, including analysis of the pigments in the paint used and their discoloration, as well as letters from Van Gogh himself, the museum has changed its view.

In a letter to his brother Theo dated July 5, 1888, Vincent described the scene he had painted the previous day, but expressed his disappointment at the end result, writing: “I brought back a study of it too, but it was well below what I’d wished to do.”

The work was later listed in one of Theo’s catalogues, and then reappeared in 1970 in the estate of a Norwegian industrialist, Christian Nicolai Mustad, who had collected the works of Edvard Munch.

The Mustad family believed the painting had been bought by Mustad in 1908 but that he was advised later on that it was a fake or wrongly attributed, and banished it to the attic.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Utility Frustrated With River Nitrate Management

WaterTap

Iowa’s largest water utility is restarting special equipment to remove nitrates from the water it uses from the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers to its customers.

in Local

Nebraska Governor Not to Support Death Penalty Repeal

prison

Governor Pete Ricketts finds himself at odds with the legislature after a week in which the Unicameral passed a number of crime bills.

in Local

Sioux City Teens Hospitalized, One Dead After Smoking Synthetic Drug

Medical Stethoscope

A Sioux City teenager died and three others were hospitalized after police say they became ill while smoking a synthetic drug.

in Local

Nebraska Legislators Debate Death Penalty Repeal

needle

Nebraska legislators have given preliminary approval to a bill to do away with the death penalty.

in Local

Health Checks Part Of Safety Precautions

american red cross

When it comes to safety preparedness, most people think about smoke alarms, disaster kits, and escape plans.